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Did Anti-Catholic Jack Chick Ruin Halloween?

I will no doubt be heckled for this, but I’ve never had a problem with Halloween. Sure, after nearly four decades, trick-or-treating has gotten old, and the idea of dragging my kids around at night while they fill their bags with sugar I don’t even want them eating has lost its luster.

But I remember Halloween growing up in the 80s as a really fun time. I frequently came up with my own costumes, and it was a chance to really exercise the old creative arts. One of my favorites was this one, which I concocted after seeing a pretty amusing costumed rendition of Herman’s Hermits’ Henry VIII I Am on an episode of the Smothers Brothers variety show:


I must have been twelve or thirteen at the time. I can’t tell you how much extra candy I got that year – for me and “my friend.” (People really thought I had found some mensch to carry me around all night!) I also won a costume contest in a local parade, winning a whopping $5.00 McDonald’s gift certificate for my trouble.

When I was a kid, people didn’t treat Halloween as a national holiday. They didn’t start decorating a month in advance, build remote-controlled graveyards in their front lawns, or concoct elaborate motion-activated chainsaw-massacre scenes to scare the little ones half to death. Like most things in the era of Ronald Reagan, it was a simpler, more innocent time. But every Catholic I knew went out on Halloween night — and always after dark; none of the namby-pamby daylight nonsense — with nary an All Saints’ party in sight.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, I have long looked askance at the growing Catholic suspicion of Halloween. It all seems a little too puritanical to my tastes, which run more to the sort of sacramentality of tangible delight one finds in Babette’s Feast or even Big Night.

So I found it very interesting when I came across this article by Catholicism “expert” Scott Richert, which says that the anti-Halloween crusade comes to us not from history, but from from anti-history, and from a distinctly anti-Catholic source, at that.

What would you think if I told you that the Catholic Church invented Islam, communism, and freemasonry, in order to undermine the faith of true Christians? That the holocaust was a Vatican plot, and Hitler merely the pawn of Pope Pius XII? That Catholics do not worship Christ and venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary, but instead worship the reincarnated Nimrod, founder of Babylon, and his wife (and mother!) Semiramis?

That, as early as 1980, the Vatican had a supercomputer containing the names of every Protestant Christian in the world, designed to make it easier to round them all up in a future persecution carried out by the Catholic Church, headed up by the Antichrist, otherwise known as the Pope?

In all likelihood, you would (at best) laugh at these ridiculous ideas, and probably dismiss me as a raving anti-Catholic. Certainly, you wouldn’t accept my claims as the gospel truth.

What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men?

But what if I told you that every year, dozens of children are kidnapped and murdered by Satanists on Halloween?

That scores more are injured or killed when they eat candy laced with poison or shards of glass? That every year on October 31, modern-day witches follow in the footsteps of ancient Druids by celebrating demonic rituals, including human sacrifice?

Some of you are now likely nodding your head in agreement. After all, you’ve heard these claims for years, and where there’s smoke, there must be hellfire, right?

Jack Chick Thinks He Knows

But what if I told you that, over the past 30-plus years, one man has worked tirelessly to advance both sets of claims, and that his attacks on Halloween have as much truth to them as his attacks on the Catholic Church? And that, indeed, his attacks on Halloween are not separate from, but very much a part of, his anti-Catholicism?

That man’s name is Jack T. Chick, the owner of Chick Publications, the world’s largest publisher of fundamentalist tracts—three quarters of a billion since 1960. Since 1980, he has made it his life’s mission to subvert and undermine the Catholic Church.

And in 1986, he opened a new front in that battle by focusing his attacks on the vigil of All Saints Day, better known as Halloween.

Anyone who has seen a Jack Chick publication knows just how howl-inducingly awful they are. (My personal favorite has always been the one about the Eucharist as diabolical “Death Cookie.“) What I did not know is just how much those little Chick comics contributed to not just the idea that Halloween was an essentially evil pagan holiday, but even things like poisoned candy or razor blades in apples. Richert continues:

I was in junior high school the year that I returned from home from trick-or-treating to find, hidden among the Butterfingers (my favorite) and Skittles (a candy I could do without), a little comic book that patiently explained why Catholics were not Christians. It was my first Jack Chick tract, but it would be far from my last.


Mixed in with all of this is an unhealthy dose of ideas drawn from a pamphlet published in 1853 (and later expanded to book length) by the Rev. Alexander Hislop, a minister of the Free Church of Scotland. The Two Babylons: Or The Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife argues that Roman Catholicism is actually a form of paganism—specifically, a Babylonian mystery cult. According to Hislop, the Christ that Catholics worship is not the same as the Christ other Christians worship, but the reincarnated Nimrod, founder of Babylon, and the Virgin Mary whom Catholic venerate is really the Babylonian deity Semiramis, worshiped in Egypt as Isis, in Greece as Athena, and in Rome as Venus and Diana. True Christianity, according to Hislop, was subverted by pagan worship during the reign of Constantine the Great, and did not reemerge again until the late Middle Ages, and was not fully restored until the Protestant Reformation.

In a similar vein, Hislop argued that the Catholic veneration of the saints, particularly on All Saints Day, and the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory (emphasized strongly in the month of November, beginning on November 2, All Souls Day), is a modified form of Babylonian worship of the dead.

Given Chick’s reliance on The Two Babylons, it should have come as no surprise when, in 1986, his series of anti-Catholic tracts culminated in his first attack on Halloween, in his 1986 tract The Trick.

Witchcraft, Human Sacrifice, Poisoned Candy, and Spells

By the mid-1980’s, many parents had become concerned for the safety of their children on Halloween. The rise of the subgenre of horror movies known as “slasher films,” such as the Halloween and Friday the 13thfranchises, combined with stories of serial killers such as Chicago’s “Killer Clown,” John Wayne Gacy, in the popular imagination. Scattered reports of candy laced with drugs or poison, and caramel apples embedded with shards of glass, never very widespread and entirely debunked by 2002 (see Is Halloween Candy Tampering a Myth?), led parents to inspect the goodies that the neighbors they saw every day had given to their children on Halloween night.

The Trick capitalized on this unease to advance Chick’s attack on Halloween. A coven of witches is shown tampering with Halloween candy and performing incantations over it, leading, on Halloween, to the death of children and frightening changes in the behavior of others. Even though the children have been warned by their parents only to visit the houses of people they know, one of those kindly neighbors turns out to be a witch, proving that there is no way to ensure the physical and spiritual safety of any child who celebrates Halloween. Only when an ex-witch exposes Halloween as a “holy day” created by Satan to allow a worldwide conspiracy of witches to “provide additional sacrifices to him” is the kindly but evil neighbor’s plot foiled, as the parents of the affected children accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and then convince their children to do so also.

The Druids Are Coming!

The worldwide conspiracy, however, is nothing new; according to Chick, who, in The Trick, cites Hislop’s Two Babylons as his source, Halloween was first celebrated by the Druids, who offered children as human sacrifices on Halloween night:

When [a Druid] went to a home and demanded a child or virgin for sacrifice, the victim was the Druid’s treat. In exchange, they would leave a jack-o-lantern with a lighted candle made of human fat to prevent those inside from being killed by demons that night. When some unfortunate couldn’t meet the demands of the Druids, then it was time for the trick. A symbolic hex was drawn on the front door. That night Satan or his demons would kill someone in that home.
In other Chick tracts, similar accounts of Druidic celebration of Halloween are offered, and the jack-o’-lantern is specifically identified as a carved pumpkin.

Of course, as I’ve shown in Should Catholics Celebrate Halloween?, Halloween—that is, the vigil or eve of All Hallows or All Saints Day, was first celebrated in the eighth century A.D., approximately 400 years after the Celts had abandoned druidism for Christianity. And the pumpkin, which is native to North American, was not imported to the British Isles until over a millennium after the conversion of the Celts to Christianity. Indeed, as David Emery, the Expert at About Urban Legends points out in Why Do We Carve Pumpkins on Halloween?, both the name and the custom of the jack-o’-lantern date from the 17th century, and it was commonly associated with Catholic beliefs and practices:

For Catholic children it was customary to carry jack-o’-lanterns door-to-door to represent the souls of the dead while begging for soul cakes on Hallowmas (All Saints Day, Nov. 1) and All Souls Day (Nov. 2).

Irish Catholic immigrants to North America celebrated Halloween by carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating, and, just as their Puritan ancestors had in England, Protestants of English descent in the American Northeast banned the celebration of Halloween (and of Christmas) not out of concerns over witchcraft and the “Devil’s Night,” but explicitly in opposition to Catholic practice. By the late 19th century, those bans had been dropped, and both Halloween and Christmas had been adopted by Protestant Christians of all stripes in the United States, but by the late 1980’s Jack Chick had succeeded in reviving the earlier anti-Catholic attack on Halloween.

There’s a lot of history in the article, and it brings up facts I’d never heard or considered. And while it’s certainly true that occultists have tried to make the most of Halloween — especially in recent years — it’s not a holiday that belongs to them. Richert’s conclusion is, therefore, entirely reasonable:

Is Halloween Evil? Consider the Source of the Claim

Yet the damage has been done, and a whole new generation of Christians, including many Catholics, have been indoctrinated in lies about Halloween spread by a man who believes that Catholics aren’t Christians; that Catholics worship Babylonian deities, and not Jesus Christ; and that the Catholic Church created Islam, communism, and Masonry to subvert true Christianity, and raised up Hitler to commit genocide against the Jews.

Catholic children do not need to celebrate Halloween to be good Catholics, though they should understand the true origins of Halloween as the vigil of All Saints Day. But if you’re contemplating keeping your children at home on Halloween while others are enjoying a night of innocent fun because you’ve been told that Halloween is the “Devil’s Night,” I can offer only this advice: Consider the source.

Whether you like the idea of Halloween or not, this is an article worth reading.

Originally published on Oct 31, 2015.

56 thoughts on “Did Anti-Catholic Jack Chick Ruin Halloween?”

  1. In our Catholic school, the kids wore their costumes, went to mass, paraded around the parking lot then partied the afternoon away with homemade goodies provided by the moms. Every Catholic kid then went home, ate dinner and trick or treated their feet off. Good thing Catholics schools got the day off for Catholic feast days and we had All Saint’s Day to recover.
    My mother did the same when she was in school in the 1930s. The entire shunning of Halloween was something I never heard of until I had my own kids.
    I see it as a blending of Catholic and Protestant thoughts after Vatican II.

      • LOL! Don’t be silly. It was a bunch of kids dressing up as hobos, angels and hippies running around having a great time isn’t “pagan”. We weren’t honoring demons, we were filling our pillowcases.
        There is intent to be taken into account. We intended to get goodies.
        It’s a very evangelical Protestant thing to find demons in fun things. Up until VII and the blending of religious practices, Catholics played hard and prayed hard. Halloween was part of the play.

        • First off, are you talking about when you were a kid or last week? I know all about Halloween having grown up in a Irish Catholic suburb of Detroit and Halloween then..then 1870’s and 80’s was all about the fun. Its NOW 2015 that it needs to be walked back or forgotten about altogether and ihonestly the Catholic schools are much more into this halloween since vatican 2 so I”m not really sure what you’re getting at there. Catholic schools today are an extremely overpriced often non catholic environment. When is the last time a kid came out of a catholic school knowing his Baltimore catechism basics backwards and forwards? Catholic schools today are one with the world not opposing the world.

          • Actually, I’m simply done fighting silly people for 5 days. If I try to convince you of my original post being 1968 and put in more information, it perpetuates a fruitless discussion with a person who I have already disregarded. So yeah, I went for the typo because it was more fun. That actually says it all about me. If you want to have the last word, be my guest. God will listen to your hissy but I have leaves to rake.

          • Perhaps writing a post with some relevance to the discussion would help? Your cool story from the glory years of the late 60’s has little relevance to today’s Halloween unless perhaps you want to relate it to the complete decline of the Catholic Church in every measurable category since the late 1960’s.

    • I liked the Halloween holiday which was a great time in my childhood. When I needed to get some help, studyfy has been a particularly helpful service throughout my academic journey, offering much-needed support during my most challenging periods of essay writing. The platform extends beyond simple writing assistance, providing a comprehensive educational experience that has greatly contributed to my understanding of essay crafting and research.

  2. Samhain (or: Halloween) is believed to have pagan origins and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times. There’s nothing good about it.

  3. Great article, but I somewhat disagree with both of you, Steve and Netmilsmom (for once!). But rather than go into a long screed, let me make two quick points: 1) What is the evidence that Jack Chick is THE source for the anti-Halloween thing? I’m sure that’s wrong. 2) Even if he is A source, so what? He also doesn’t like Islam very much (okay he thinks Islam was a plot by the Catholic Church but still). That doesn’t mean we should take the opposite view. Full disclosure: My wife and I originally decided we wouldn’t celebrate it. We have now almost entirely caved, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still look at it a bit warily. And of course, just as Santa has swamped Jesus, Halloween has swamped All Saints and All Souls. You can try to counter that, of course, but even so . . .

    • I think you’d have to read Richert’s full article and follow his links. I don’t know that he’s made an exhaustive case, but I do think it’s a compelling one. I also know as a cradle Catholic that this wariness about Halloween was something that really caught on after I got married and started having kids. When I was a teenager, I don’t remember anyone in my large Catholic family even talking about this. This has the distinct feeling of a novelty, and Richert’s assertions of pseudo-historicism warrant further study,.

  4. I love Halloween too, but I really have a problem with the now-rampant dressing little kids up as corpses, even or especially corpses in cute costumes (e.g. zombie princess, etc)… Corpses with bleeding eyes, gash wounds … really??? Society was mature enough to play with this stuff 30 years ago, maybe now it isn’t. Also I’m over the adults dressing up. Enough.

    • I agree as Halloween was more innocent fun in the past, and it was mainly for kids. Now, it is more for the adults who like to act like kids, and you are right with regards to the Zombies, etc. It is bad enough with the adults, but the adults dress up the kids the same way. Many of the costumes for little girls are not appropriate either.

  5. I was so relieved to read this article! I am in my 70s n attended catholic schools n we had great Halloween parties growing up dunking for apples etc. No one ever had any thoughts of evilness about it n then I raised 5 children who also enjoyed going to the neighbors for treats. At my age I now enjoy dressing as a clown or raggedy Anne to answer the door n the neighborhood kids love to see who I’ll be each year?

  6. My one and only real experience of halloween was when i was about 13 (i am not American) and i and two friends had one scary mask between us, put it on and went to a few doors trick or treating. We didn’t get too far though….
    All i can tell you is when it was my turn to put the mask on i had a very uncomfortable and bad feeling about it. It was like a bad energy or electricity in the air. Then when i went to my first door the guy that answered went absolutely ballistic. Like demonically infuriated we should knock on his door AGAIN (for some reason he thought we kept knocking and hassle him even though we only knocked once). We were easy to recognise with only one mask between us so it was weird as he was usually a mild mannered neighbour.
    Anyhow, after that we kinda gave up as the previous doors we knocked on brought us little success if not the insane abuse. The thing that sticks in my mind the most though is that after we were done, i said to my friends i had a really bad feeling about me when i was wearing the mask. One friend totally agreed with me and was going to say the same thing, how weird he felt, like dark energy around him. The other kid felt nothing, or if anything was excited about it and wanted to go on with the trick or treating. One Catholic like me, one non Catholic and brought up atheist.

    Im not one for remembering childhood memories so much but that episode really sticks in my mind and i have been very wary of the whole halloween thing since. I would certainly not let my kids dress up as anything evil at all after that personal experience i had.

  7. In the UK where I live, we had Halloween parties decades ago. Bobbing for apples, duck apple, the odd rubber bat and plastic spider and a few games. It was just harmless fun. Trick or treat simply was unheard of here. It’s now got completely out of hand. Many of my elderly friends buy large quantities of sweets (candy to you) because they don’t want to wash eggs or flour and water off their windows. Because that’s what happens here if you don’t give the kids something. And I have to agree that dressing small children up as mutilated corpses etc. is something I find thoroughly disturbing. I love the idea of kids going round with jack o’lanterns asking for ‘soul cakes’. It could be good fun and maybe the kids here think it is, but it seems to me to have become pretty nasty. Like so may things these days. There’s no moderation.

    • flour and water, interesting, we used to just use ivory soap to soap the windows. It’s also a big pain in the rear to clean off.

  8. I come from a background of having personal haunted houses and adult Halloween parties every year before I had a conversion experience two years ago. No matter what the origins of Halloween are, it has now been “hijacked” by evil and the occult. For example…Even though the origins of the upside down cross come from St. Peter’s crucifixion, how many Catholics would wear it since most of the world would associate it with satanism? After my conversion, I quickly came to the understanding that I couldn’t “play with satan” on Halloween and not offend God. JMHO

    • I agree, hijacked is the correct word. We celebrated it huge in our suburb of Detroit growing up in the 70’s and 90’s but now I have little ones and we buy pumpkins and have treats but no trick or treating or going out, just too freakin’ demonic and twisted these days in this part of Florida and I imagine in many other areas. What was once cute and fun is now (that I have reverted to traditional catholicism) seems to be about evil and occult. The tone has definitely changed since back in the 70’s and 80’s.

      • In Iowa trick or treating is called “beggars night.” It’s about hospitality. When my husband was growing up in the 1980’s he and his sister would dress up, and then they would drive with his parents to the neighboring farms. There they would visit at each house and enjoy some treats and the company of neighbors, the adults were treated to coffee and cake as well.

        This seems like a fine tradition, and it keeps us in touch with neighbors, something that has become harder to do in our current culture.

        Instead of abandoning our traditions to a hedonistic and anti-Christian culture, let’s reclaim them. After all, Christmas has become overly commercialized, and plenty of non-Christians celebrate it as an excuse to practice the sin of gluttony. But that doesn’t mean we should stop celebrating Christmas, instead we should be examples of how to celebrate it properly.

  9. Thank you very much for this article. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Halloween if celebrated properly.

    I am a “pre-Vatican II baby,” and when I was young, we celebrated Halloween with normality, which means that one night out of the year we dressed up in a costume and went around to our neighbors’ homes and got free candy.

    The fact that some people abuse it should not keep others from celebrating it. If we thought like that, we should then stop celebrating Christmas, as many secular people treat it as a time to get drunk and get presents.

    It’s hard to imagine that dressing your child as Snow White or a Storm Trooper and walking around the neighborhood getting Snickers bars and Reese’s peanut butter cups from your neighbors is somehow evil.

    In fact, many of the “Chicklets” (my term for people that read and distribute Chick tracts) are now engaging in the very thing that the Catholic Church has done; i.e., many are now promoting “Fall Festivals” with “wholesome costumes” at their churches in order to sort of baptize Halloween and turn it away from something focusing on witches and goblins. That’s what the Church did to Saturnalia, which was supplanted by Christmas.

    I don’t see anything wrong what that, nor do I see anything wrong with once a year giving Hershey bars to a five year old who is dressed up as Tweety Bird yelling “Twick ohr Tweat” on my doorstep and whose parents are watching from the sidewalk, ready to take the child to the next house.

    I think we can do without some of the more gruesome outfits, but nowadays it seems that the majority of the costumes are bought. When I was young, we made our own costumes. I specifically remember, as if it were yesterday (in fact, it was 50+ years ago) two neighborhood kids dressing up as a pair of dice. I thought that was clever.

    I just got through giving out candy and was edified by the number of children who shouted “thank you” as they walked down the driveway.

    • The Maronite Church near us did “Trunk or Treat” with a huge party after. We have no streetlights or sidewalks so we don’t get kids in our neighborhood. We were got to hand out candy with the Maronites.
      There were twins dressed as Rubik’s Cubes. There were great!

  10. This is a welcome perspective. And I’m enjoying reading about others’ memories of how we used to observe this day. While I agree it’s a shame the original significance of All Hallows’ Eve has been largely forgotten, I never was particularly bothered by the secular approach to Halloween until the past few years, when it seemed to just be getting out of hand, as you noted, Steve. My next-door neighbors have the whole shebang going–three big auto-inflated decorations, about two dozen little white ghosts on their shrubbery, and orange lights all over the front of the house just like Christmas lights. Egad.

    At the time I came into the Church, ten years ago, we lived in a part of town that was absolutely loaded with kids, and it was not unusual for us to go through over 1,000 candy bars in about three hours. For my first Halloween as a Catholic, I decided as just a bit of fun, not out of any serious concern about the “dark side”, to dress as a monk when answering the front door. So I ordered a Franciscan habit from a costume shop and wore it, with sandals and a 3-inch Benedictine crucifix. Most everyone seemed to enjoy it, and if asked I just said I was “representing the good guys.” It was fun for me as well. The city where we lived at the time is very heavily Catholic, and some of the parents even thanked me for reminding them indirectly that Halloween is really the vigil of the Feast of All Saints.

    There was only one strange incident in the four Halloweens when I wore my costume. An attractive, thirty-something Mom, dressed in a slightly risque’ witch costume (not quite the “Elvira” design, but close) came to the door with her two youngsters in tow. When she saw me, she looked as if she had just seen, well, a ghost or something–her eyes widened, she immediately broke eye contact, mumbled “thanks” after I gave some candy to the kids and rushed off my front porch without looking at me again, dragging the little ones with her. I’ve always wondered what was really going on there, and offered up some prayers for the young woman at the time, for whatever was bothering her.

  11. Well, look at it this way.

    Is there anything wrong with a kid dressing up as a good fictional character or something funny? No.
    Is there anything wrong with giving out candy? No.
    Is there anything wrong with receiving candy? No.

    So if we do this once a year on October 31st, there is nothing wrong with it too.

    That being said, I think there are ways to make this bad too. For an example, dress up as some evil character or a demon might hint at some serious issue with the kid. Dressing the kid up in a costume of the opposite sex. Having adults dress up in skimpy costumes and have decadent parties can also be problematic. Sending your kids out in a sketchy neighborhood to collect candy could also be problematic. Trying to make (and watch) horror movies that just try to reach new levels of shocking viewers with its decadent content.

    What makes Halloween problematic is that our current culture pushes all of the above bad things in some way or the other upon our kids!

  12. I have to disagree. As a child, I enjoyed Halloween as well, but I can tell you that Jack Chick was not the source of the controversy over Halloween, even if he was a big promoter of it.

    Back when I was a child, many Catholic immigrant families from Spanish countries had the same strong distrust of Halloween. Devils, witches, and ghosts running around appeared to them to be a direct assault on All Saints Day and they wanted their children to have nothing to do with it. Halloween might be popular in some English speaking countries, but it is unknown in most of the world (except for TV and movies), so it is understandable as more immigrants arrive, foreign attitudes to the holiday emerge.

    These days, Halloween has been domesticated. Most kids visiting this year were dressed as superheroes, princesses, robots, or just in their regular clothes. The whole night, we got just one pirate skeleton and one witch, although we did get one cute preschool spiderman that tried to scare us. But it’s still just as fun for kids, so I don’t see it being ruined in any way.

  13. Excellent piece! We had only a few trick-or-treaters last night–they mostly were little kids out with their parents. One group was likely 8th or 9th graders with scary masks, but a polite thank you as they left. I think this shows a wonderful sense of trust in the community, a welcomed showing of good-will.

  14. I never heard of Jack Chick or any of the other stuff you talked about. When I was doing Halloween in the 1940’s in Detroit it was actually fun. No parent supervision, lets of tricks the night before and lots treats, no fancy customers

  15. I start every Halloween season thinking, “I’ve had it with the glorification of evil, these obnoxious adults dressed like zombies and prostitutes, and teenagers looking to vandalize my house and car!” And after every Halloween I think, “All those cute little kids having so much fun and bringing their joy to everybody in the neighborhood. Halloween is so much fun!”

    BTW awesome costume!

  16. I never heard of Jack Chick or any of the other stuff you talked about.

    When we were doing Halloween in the 1940’s in Detroit it was a two night affair. The first night was tricks,payback time for nasty neighbors, and the second night was treats. Little parental supervision involved and pillow cases for the treats, no store-bought costumes. We called going door to door for treats begging and yelled “Help
    the poor” or Pennies for Palestine”at the person’s front door. By the time my kids started going out in the 1960’ the trick night had ceased. However, by the time the 1970’s had arrived
    the tricking had escalated as Detroit became infamous for the special way they celebrated Halloween: burning down houses in the city. I don’t think this happens much anymore as most of the houses are gone. Ah, for the good old days?!

  17. My parish had an All Saints bonfire, with kids dressing up as their favourite saints (prizes all round), fun and games, food, spiced hot beer. It was fabulous! Thinking back on it, and after reading some of the comments here, the phrase that comes to mind from the modern parlance would have to be “we’re taking it back!”

  18. As an Iriish Catholic American it was always celebrated and big fun and I grew up about the same time as the author of this article. The problem is now I see it’s more and more demonic and satanic. Back when we were kids the costumes were scary but more often cute and fun. Now unfortunately it has devolved into a lot of death and evil. Maybe I’m wrong but that wasn’t exactly the tone as a kid in the 80’s. My mom had a cute pumpkin decoration for the front door which was a smiling pumpkin with legs and arms. I don’t see any decorations made like that today, now I see (ofen but not always) evil, snarling pumpkins. What the? How did pumpkins become evil and menacing?

  19. Steve, for an alternative perspective, you might want to check out Trent Beattie’s interview with David Arias over at National Catholic Register. He makes some very good points. P.S I greatly appreciate your tireless work in defense of the faith.

  20. I’ll never forget when I lived in central Virginia about ten years ago. I grew up in an Irish Catholic enclave in the Detroit suburbs where Halloween was ritual. I then discovered the true faith when I put aside the Vatican 2 bs and became a revert traditional Catholic or lets just say a CATHOLIC
    . Anyway, there I am in central Virginia telling my protestant co workers about the evils of Halloween as they rushed home excitedly to take their kids trick or treating. That was the world turned upside down no? As my FSSP priest so eloquently stated a few weeks back, we’re not pagans, we don’t celebrate pagan rituals and besides we have more glorious Catholic feast days than you ever knew once you discover the true faith.

  21. Back when IANS was young (score of years ago) and in CYO (Catholic Youth Organisation) the Priests told us to first collect money for UNICEF (United Nations Institute to Corrupt European’s Faith) and so, early on, IANS learned about ecumenism and indifferentism which was the macabre part of halloween.

    This man is 100% with you Steve. There is nothing like the smell of burning leaves (and a burning cigar) in New England while the fam goes out together trick or treating and while the women at some friend’s gives your kids candy, her hubby slips you a beer…

    Good for you, Steve

    • FWIW, I split my growing up time between Connecticut and Upstate New York. Fall in those places ain’t like fall anyplace else. It adds to the mystique of Halloween, and the nostalgia.

      • If I ever get to the US for hols upstate NY is is on my list for precisely this reason. I’ve only seen photographs, but Autumn looks beautiful. Between that, a Winnebago, and micro-breweries, it’s a dream I sincerely hope to fulfil ere God spare me enough years.

    • So, let the enemies of truth define All Hallows Eve for we believers?

      But,that is nuts and the way of surrender.

      Tell ’em all to go to Hell or, soon, y’all will also stop celebrating Christmas because of what some other enemies of ours say about it.

      • The enemies are not celebrating All Hallows Eve. They are celebrating a secular holiday that has become pagan, occultic, and satanic. Modern Halloween has nothing to with Catholic All Hallows Eve. It has usurped it in the last decades, and in the last couple of years, has taken a darker tone back to paganism and occultism.

        The article gives Catholics some good options on how to celebrate All Hallows Eve, the right way. The Catholic way. This is not surrendering the culture war, but fighting the culture war head on. Fighting against the occultism of modern Halloween by exposing it and taking back All Hallows Eve by our Catholic practices.

        • You are missing the larger picture. The author of that article has surrendered on Halloween even as many putative christians have surrendered on Christmas.

          He has admitted defeat when it comes to Halloween and he desires to privatise it – which is the americanist way…

          • We will never take back the culture without first taking back the sanctuaries. The culture is gone and lost. There is no taking it back without first getting the Church in order. Once Catholics are reverent, practicing, and celebrat the feasts of the Church, these Church feasts will replace American secular holidays.

          • Halloween and Christmas were never the same. Unlike Christmas, Halloween has been secular from the beginning. When did Halloween ever celebrate the saints?

          • There is also been an exaggeration of the importance of All Hallow’s Eve. It’s the eve of a feast day. The actual feast day is All Saint’s Day on November 1. That is the real reason for the celebration.

  22. Let me state that even though Halloween has been secular for decades, it was more innocent and fun in the 80’s and up to the mid or late 90’s. I remember it was about family fun and the candy. It has been trending pagan more and more during that time, and in the last 5-10 years or so, has more become completely occultic and satanic.
    It’s no longer about family and candy, but about adolescent and adult celebration of the occult. About who can decorate their house the scariest and most occultic. Now there are less houses giving out candy. Used to be every house or so around the block would give candy, now it’s just the houses decorated for the occult. There are also fewer children around trick or treating too. Everybody is getting older and there are less children in the world. The vacuum is filled by the 14-40 something crowd celebrating the occult. The 18-40 year old adults with their costumes and parties.
    On the Satanic bible and calendar, Halloween one of the two big high feast festivals. It’s the top festival with the second one being May day. The top festival dedicated to Satanic blood and sex.

  23. Growing up in the South, Jack Chick was a familiar character. I had a Jr. High art teacher who gave them out after morning “prayer meetings.” Some convenient store owners and Protestant bookstores had displays with every Chick Tract he ever made. People passed them out at fairs. It’s Baptist country down here.

    But, as a pagan, we did celebrate Halloween as a time to perform a work–negative or positive depending on the cycle of the moon. Waning for negative, waxing for positive. Given the superstitious mystique and lore of the particular day, though, negative actions were permitted outside the usual parameters of ritual magick. We weren’t like the pansy wiccans (that’s how we saw them) who went by the 1960’s-inspired creed, “do what ye will, yet harm none.”

    It makes me wonder if Chick has inadvertently (or purposely) influenced the culture so that even non-Christian sects associated it with darkness. Ripple effect.

  24. Disagree. What ruined Halloween is the secular culture. The spirit of the holiday now is either pornographic or demonic. Wherever I go I see mutilated corpses, dead babies, severed limbs, etc. And it wasn’t more innocent when we were younger. It was just an earlier stage of the evil we’re dealing with now. It seems psychologically perverse to be glorifying death, evil, and the demonic. I did it too growing up in the 1980s, and I loved it. But now I see how it doesn’t make any sense except as some sort of tribute to Satan or at least as some sort of wedge he uses to get at us. Now, I have young children. We don’t trick or treat. We haven’t been able to rid ourselves of Halloween completely, so if they’re invited to a costume party, they’ll go as something innocuous. But half the other kids at the party will be dressed as something horrible, not to mention the decorations, so I think maybe we’ll be one of those families who just avoid the whole thing.


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